In the second week of January I decided to have a bash at the Zero to Hero challenge, which proposed that following the exercises would increase my knowledge of how to use WordPress to best advantage. It was primarily aimed at new bloggers who perhaps would not have much experience of messing about with the available tools in WordPress, and in that context, I think this would have been a very useful tutorial. The thing is I am already an inveterate tweaker and had delved into most of the tasks that were suggested during the month, so I did find participating every day to be something of a chore. That being said, I’m glad I took this on, because it prompted me to get my digit out of my orifice and do something about getting people to read my deathless prose, and I did learn about a few things I hadn’t discovered through my normal trial and error approach.
Did my readership improve? Well, I have also taken up the Daily Prompt challenge and from looking at the viewing stats, that was far more effective in bringing my blog to the attention of others, largely because of the pingback setup, which for some reason was not operated on Zero to Hero.
So, rather than re-hash all my thoughts on the daily tasks, I’ve listed them all below. The first link on each line should bring you to the task as described on the day, and the second and sometimes third links are my responses.
Task: Day One: Introduce Yourself – Who I am and why I’m here
Task: Day Two: What’s your name? – Edit your title and tagline, and flesh them out in a widget
Task: Day Three: What’s on your mind? Didn’t do this one, can’t remember why
Task: Day Four: Explore the Neighborhood – Find five blogs you like
Task: Day Five: Love Your Theme – Try out new themes
Task: Day Six: Try a New Element – Publish a post that includes a new element
Task: Day Seven: Personalize Your Theme – Do some more personalizing
Task: Day Eight: Make Your About Page Irresistible – Didn’t do this one, I’d been twiddling with that page the day before and was getting a little bored with that. I’d also found another writing challenge.
Task: Day Nine: Head Deeper Into the Blogosphere – NaPloPoMo
Task: Day Ten: Add Two Widgets – I didn’t but I wrote about it anyway – I also experimented with menus, because I prefer to balance navigation horizontally and vertically
Task: Day Eleven: Leave Three Comments – Leave posts on three blogs – The Liebster Award
Task: Day Twelve: From Comment to Post – write a post that expands on one of your comments
Task: Day Thirteen: Build a (Better) Blogroll – Create, edit or expand your blogroll
Task: Day Fourteen: Blogger’s Choice! – reading and commenting – I spent so much time on that, I didn’t get round to posting about it
Task: Day Fifteen: Explore Visuals and Content – I didn’t do this one, it was tantamount to offering an alcoholic the keys of a brewery
Task: Day Sixteen: Personalize a Prompt – Publish a post based on your own personal take on today’s Daily Prompt
Task: Day Seventeen: Increase Your Commenting Confidence – As per Day Fourteen
Task: Day Eighteen: Activate a Social Network – Zero to Hero and Beyond
Task: Day Nineteen: Publish a Post in a New-To-You Format – publish a post in a format you haven’t used before – Trust
Task: Day Twenty: Add a New Page – Add a new page to your blog
Task: Day Twenty-One: Build on your last post – I didn’t do this one. It involved social networks again and I’d gone to town on social networking on Day Eighteen
Task: Day Twenty-Two: Try (Another) Blogging Event – Draft a post for (another) blogging event – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge–Found in Nature
Task: Day Twenty-Three: Publish a Roundup – that links to posts on at least three others blogs and tell us why you love them
Task: Day Twenty-Four: Chat with other event participants – visit five other participants in the event your chose on Day 22. Leave at least two comments. (Read and comment more if you can!)
Task: Day Twenty-Five: Add one more custom touch – Good God people! Don’t you know by now that I’m a member of Blog Tweaker’s Anonymous? Have mercy. Yes I tweaked. No, I didn’t write about it
Task: Day Twenty-Six: Set up a few more drafts for later – Today’s assignment: look back over what you’ve published. What have you been most proud of? What are the common threads? Which have been most popular? Create and save at least two draft posts with ideas that come from those
Task: Day Twenty-Seven: Revisit a task – Today’s assignment: Pick your favorite of all the tasks we’ve done so far, and revisit it. How can you continue to grow? (Bonus: revisit a post that’s been on your mind, and make the edits you’ve been thinking about.) I’m going to be realistic about this. There were too many challenges this month. I’ll revisit this later, when I’m done with Zero to Hero
Task: Day Twenty-Eight: Build on your popular content – Find the post that has received the most views, likes, or comments, and write a related follow-up post
Task: Day Twenty-Nine: Create an Editorial Calendar – Ha! I did that during the task for Day Twenty Six